I asked this question of my husband a couple days ago. I feel I might've been. And this is sad, firstly because snobbery isn't something I ever condoned and secondly because I am SO NOT rich!!!
The question was prompted by two of the recent disasters happening across the world. Grenfel and Pedrógão Grande. You probably heard of the first but not of the second so I've left you a link.
Every year in Portugal there are a lot of Forest fires, some of natural causes and some set alight by arsonists. The reality is that the Government of the last (EVER) 20 or 30 years has done little to address reasons, prevention and policing of this matter. Moneys get lost, are fraudulently spent and policies are not adequate.
This year in particular, the number of deaths was really high and the number of people who lost everything they had is terrifying.
What you need to know about Portugal is that our welfare system is a poor baby in rags and our support systems are made of straws. People used to live off the land and therefore everyone always had some vegetables and a couple of chickens they could eat so the birth of the welfare system has been slow and filled with gross mistakes.
People are losing their lives, their loved ones, their belongings and their often modest houses they have worked a life to build also often with their own hands. People have lost animals and crops of which they depended to survive. Their houses weren't insured, or many of them at least and those that were well... insurance companies...
In the UK, within 3 weeks people are being re-homed. They were put up in a hotel with food and basic comforts after such a tragic experience.
These offers are being rejected. En masse. I feel, from the bottom of my souls, like shouting WTF PEOPLE?!
Only about 10% of the offers accepted?! What am I missing?
Free rent for a whole year and then reduced rent at state prices in privately rented accommodation and all within the area (according to the realms of possibility)... there is money available for furnishings and donations have exceeded the necessities...
I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THESE PEOPLE MUST BE FEELING NOR DO I PRETEND TO.
But, and as you can imagine there needs to be a but, how about the residents of Pedrógão Grande? I am leaving war torn and hunger stricken populations here for the sake of fairness and to distance myself from extremes.
How about those people who have lost children and husbands and wives to terminal illnesses and are now too depressed to work and live their life normally? Are they getting a free years rent in a decent place?
How about the soldiers who have seen and done things no human should have to? Are those?
How about those who have been rejected by their families and ostracised by their friends for their choice in partner, faith, sexual partner and are now suicidal? Will those?
Isn't it time we all counted our blessings and faced our failings as opposed to counting other peoples failings and seeing only ourselves as blessings on the world?
I often hear my own thoughts and feelings and always imagine them coming from a 17th century rich, fat, idiotic court aristocrat who's out of touch with the pleb. Hence the question...
But I am the pleb, I am not an aristocrat and know only too well the struggles of the "lower" class.
What does this make me?
- I like to think, someone with character but then again, am I only seeing myself as a blessing on the world whilst counting the failures of those around me?! -